Pooja Gaur: I consider Ekta Kapoor my godmother, my mentor!

The gorgeous and demure actor became the face of women’s empowerment with a show on Star Plus. She started her TV career with Kitani Mohabbat Hai and came into the limelight with Mann Kee Awaaz Pratigya, which ran for almost three years

Actor Pooja Gaur talks about her life, working with Balaji and Ekta Kapoor again, her relationship with Raj Singh Arora and what’s going to keep her busy in 2013…

Let’s start simple – what’s new in your life?

Well, I’ve got a new haircut – if that’s what you mean! And yes, I am doing several shows.

What’s your story in Ekta Kapoor’s Ek Thhi Naayka?

I really can’t reveal too much. But I’ll give you a small outline – I play a Delhi girl going to office, who lives in a high-rise building. Something weird happens in the flat and that is what the story will revolve around.

What is it like being a part of Balaji Telefilms?

It’s always great to be part of Balaji. I began my journey in the TV industry with them – so it’s good to be working with them again. I am someone who never forgets my roots. I consider Ekta my godmother, my mentor, so it’s always an honour to be part of any project that she’s doing.

Do you believe in the supernatural or superstitions?

I don’t believe in ghosts, ‘coz I have never felt or experienced any myself. But I will not deny that it happens. If I am not sure about something, how can I pass any judgement on it? Although I can say that I am a little superstitious. I believe it’s a bad sign when a black cat passes crosses your path. But I take the name of God and pass by and don’t dwell too much on it.

What have you been doing since Pratigya?

Thankfully, even after Pratigya got over I haven’t been idle for a day. I did The Serial on Channel V; now I will be seen in Ek Thhi Naayka. After that, I am doing Savdhaan India on Life OK. Then I have Pratigya 2 in the pipeline.

Will the story of Pratigya 2 be a continuation of part one?

The show is still in the planning stages. Nothing has been written yet, so I do not know the plot or whom I will be paired opposite. The only thing I can confirm is that Pratigya 2 is happening, and I am in it.

Will you be comfortable playing a mother or grandmother in the next part?

I don’t really have much of a problem with that. People have seen me play Pratigya – so why shy away from it?

What kind of role would you like to do in Pratigya 2?

Frankly, I want my character to be completely different from what I have already played.

At a time when most shows still revolve around saas and bahus, how different can Pratigya 2 be?

Why not! There are so many different kinds of shows nowadays. Then again, it all depends on what clicks with the audiences. After all, shows are about numbers these days, ‘coz at the end of the day it’s still a business.

How has Star Plus’ Pratigya changed your life?

It has changed my life both personally and professionally. I have grown in every way. And there’s not enough to say about the love and adulation I received from my fans.

Do you think sequels work in Indian television?

I am an avid viewer of international shows. The shows abroad are all about trial and error – they plan the concept only for about ten to 20 episodes, which makes a season. If it works, they plan another season. However, Indian television is different. A show runs as long as it delivers good numbers, or else it’s pulled off air.

So did Pratigya’s numbers drop?

Every show’s numbers drop. It’s a constant competition every day, with ten different channels and five major GECs on every time slot available. It is difficult to keep up with the competition. Every show will make way for a new one at some time or the other. How long will someone watch the same show?

Which was Pratigya’s biggest competition?

I think it was Bade Acche Lagte Hain.

One thing you hate about television…

A show is made for entertainment, but channels run only on TRPs – that’s the sad part of it.

One thing you would like to change about TV…

I would just cut the TRP systems entirely. TRPs should not be considered the judging point. A show must have time to impress viewers. Hit or flop – it shouldn’t be decided by numbers.

Have you considered being a part of reality shows?

I’d love to be part of a dance reality show…unless it clashes with my schedule. I was offered Nach Baliye this year, but Raj and I couldn’t make time for it. When they offered it to us, Pratigya was still not off air, and I had just signed The Serial.

So do you consult with Raj Singh Arora before taking up a show?

Raj and I never interfere with each other’s work decisions. We keep it separate from our personal lives. However, we take help and suggestions, but never insist or interfere.

Is there any show currently running that you’d want to be a part of?

I am happy with the shows I have done and am going to do. I have so much on my plate that I do not want to look in ten different ways, ‘coz that will be really confusing.

Is there anything you follow on TV now?

Jay Soni and Kunal Karan Kapoor are dear friends. So I do make it a point to watch their shows, Sanskaar – Darohar Apno Ki and Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha respectively. I also like Diya Aur Bati Hum. I do make it a point to catch up with Balika Vadhu too.

Do you think TV is regressive?

No, I do not think so. After the kind of shows we are doing these days, no! It’s not regressive, but it’s progressing at a very slow pace.

If not an actor, what would you be?

I actually have no idea. I’d probably have been a banker!